Manchester United have sacked manager David Moyes just 10 months after he succeeded Alex Ferguson at the helm of one of the world’s most famous clubs.
After a day of speculation in the British media, the Premier League giants on Tuesday confirmed the Scot’s departure in a brief statement on their Twitter account.
“Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club,” United said.
“The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role.”
Rumours of Moyes’s imminent departure began to swirl on Monday, with the club refusing to comment when asked if he was facing the sack.
British newspaper reports on Tuesday said Moyes had been informed of his fate during an early-morning meeting with chief executive Ed Woodward at the club’s Carrington training ground.
Current player-coach Ryan Giggs is reportedly set to be announced as interim manager later on Tuesday.
United host Norwich City on Saturday in the first of their four remaining league games this season.
Louis van Gaal, the current Netherlands coach, has been installed as the favourite to succeed Moyes on a permanent basis by British bookmakers, with Jurgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund another rumoured contender.
Ferguson, British football’s most successful manager, personally hand-picked Moyes to succeed him after announcing his retirement last May following 26 and a half trophy-studded years at Old Trafford.
Moyes inherited a team that had romped to the Premier League title – United’s 20th English league crown – by 11 points, but he endured a torrid debut campaign.
United have slumped to seventh place in the league table and been eliminated from both domestic cup competitions and the Champions League.
Moyes’s last game in charge was a 2-0 loss at his former club Everton, which confirmed that United will not compete in the Champions League next season for the first time since 1995.
The defeat, United’s 11th of the league campaign, left the defending champions 13 points below the Champions League places and 23 points behind leaders Liverpool.
They face a struggle even to qualify for the second-tier Europa League, lying six points below sixth-place Tottenham Hotspur with four matches to play.
Of their league defeats, six have come at home, and there have been demoralising home-and-away losses to arch rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, as well as Everton.
Moyes’s transfer dealings proved equally disappointing, with STG27.5 million ($A49.82 million) midfielder Marouane Fellaini, signed from Everton, and STG37.1 million record signing Juan Mata, who arrived from Chelsea in January, struggling to make an impact.
As a result, United’s American owners, the Glazer family, reportedly felt uneasy about the prospect of handing him the funds needed to rebuild the squad during the forthcoming close season.
Five potential successors to David Moyes;
Diego Simeone (Argentina)
Has impressed while guiding Atletico Madrid to the Champions League semi-finals and to the top of La Liga, challenging the dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona at the summit of Spanish football.
Louis van Gaal (Netherlands)
The Netherlands manager is one of the most experienced coaches in world football, having been in charge of a host of major clubs including Ajax, whom he guided to Champions League glory in 1995, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Munich.
Jurgen Klopp (Germany)
The charismatic 46-year-old has enjoyed great success while in charge of Borussia Dortmund, guiding an effervescent, hard-working team to back-to-back German league titles in 2011 and 2012, plus last season’s Champions League final.
Ryan Giggs (Wales)
The most decorated player in English football history and United’s record appearance holder, the ageless Welsh midfielder is currently on the staff at Old Trafford as a player-coach.
Alex Ferguson (Scotland)
The former United boss, British football’s most successful manager, has insisted that there is no way he would return to the hot-seat following his retirement at the end of last season. But is the 72-year-old, now a United director, really content to stay on the sidelines while his work of more than 26 years unravels?
Make your contribution to independent news
A donation of any size to InDaily goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. South Australia needs more than one voice to guide it forward, and we’d truly appreciate your contribution. Please click below to donate to InDaily.